Massacres map wins best digital map 2018

Monday, 17 September 2018


The Colonial Frontiers Massacres Map has won the best digital map award at the 2018 New Zealand Cartographic Society GeoCart Conference.

Mark Brown and Bill Pascoe

The map was submitted to the National Map Exhibition at the conference and a panel of judges decided on how successfully the map delivered on its stated purpose, taking into account its design, execution and presentation. The cutting edge online tool took out the digital category with map software developers Dr Bill Pascoe and Dr Mark Brown at the conference to accept the award.

Dr Bill Pascoe said it was fantastic to see the map recognised for its usefulness.

"The map has been designed so that it’s easy to see at a glance where the massacres took place with the option to delve into more detailed information," Dr Pascoe said. "It makes reliable information available to inform public debate. By making it easy to see and access the evidence, I think it has changed a lot of people's minds about our history.”

Developed by University of Newcastle historian, Professor Lyndall Ryan, a member of the Centre for 21st Century Humanities and the Centre for the History of Violence, the map stems from a project funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant investigating Violence on the Australian Colonial Frontier, 1788-1960.

Stage 2 of the map was launched in July 2018 with an 81 additional massacre sites added to the map. This brings the total number of massacres recorded on the map to 250 following an influx of valuable information and evidence from regional communities around Australia following the map's first launch a year ago.

Professor Ryan said the map website received a huge spike in visits on the day of the launch of stage 2 with over 31,000 people viewing the map. Its release was followed by accompanying media reports in Australia and across the globe.

“The map continues to receive a high number of page views every day, showing there is a high level of community interest and engagement with the map. The interest particularly comes from regional Australia, where most of the incidents took place, suggesting that people in the regions really do want to know what happened,” Professor Ryan said.

Stage 3 of the project, which will include sites in Western Australia as well as the rest of Australia from 1788-1960, requires further funding.

The research team welcomes suggestions for additions or modifications to the site, the data and the map.  People can visit the website and click the contact tab, where they can provide details via a form; or they can email colonialfrontier@newcastle.edu.au and attach any relevant documents.

Make a donation to support development of stage 3 of the map.